AACOMmunities

Urge Congress to Support AACOM-Endorsed THCGME Bill

 
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February 22, 2021

What You Need to Know

 

AACOM nominated David Connett, DO, FACOFP dist., for the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC), and Clinton Adams, DO, MPA, for the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) National Academic Affiliations Council (NAAC). We remain committed to increasing osteopathic representation on federal advisory committees and elevating the osteopathic medical education (OME) community to Congress and the Administration.

 

AACOM-endorsed legislation has been introduced by Congress to expand the Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education (THCGME) Program. AACOM strongly supports increased and long-term funding for THCGME and is , which has been vital to improving access to primary care in rural and underserved communities.

On The Hill

Lawmakers Introduce AACOM-Endorsed THCGME Bill

 

AACOM applauds HR 949, the Expanding Teaching Health Centers Act of 2021, which aims to increase the primary care physician workforce in medically underserved areas by providing enhanced funding for the THCGME Program. Introduced on February 8 by US Representative Raul Ruiz (D-CA), the bill would build on the recent by funding new centers and programs, supporting new residency slots at existing teaching health centers (THCs), creating development grants for facility modernization and renovation, and increasing the Per Resident Allocation from the level first set in 2011. THC residents play a vital role in treating both COVID and non-COVID patients, and significant financial losses caused by the pandemic increasingly threaten THCs’ stability and ability to train the next generation of health professionals. The Expanding Teaching Health Centers Act of 2021 would help THCs meet economic challenges caused by the pandemic and support additional expansion to underserved areas that face severe shortages of primary care physicians. AACOM also continues to work with the THC Coalition to maintain language in the pending COVID-19 stimulus bill that outlined in HR 949. .

AACOM Urges Congress to Provide Sustained Public Health Infrastructure Funding

 

AACOM more than 310 national organizations in a letter to congressional leadership recommending significant, long-term investments in public health infrastructure and workforce as Congress considers additional stimulus packages addressing the COVID-19 pandemic. This investment is critical to support the public health system as it responds to the current outbreak and future health crises, avoiding loss of life and social and economic disruption. By building the core public health infrastructure of states, localities, tribal governments and territories, as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the nation should be better prepared for the next threat.

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Administration and Federal Agencies

AACOM Nominates Osteopathic Leaders to Federal Advisory Committees

 

AACOM continues to pursue opportunities to increase national osteopathic representation and is pleased to nominate two distinguished osteopathic leaders to federal advisory committees important to the OME community. AACOM nominated:

  • David Connett, DO, FACOFP dist., vice dean of the Western University of Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific, to the MedPAC, an independent congressional agency established to advise Congress on issues impacting the Medicare program. Dr. Connett is board-certified in family medicine with 35 years of experience and has provided his expertise to more than 85 hospitals throughout the nation.
  • Clinton Adams, DO, MPA, president and chief executive officer of Rocky Vista University, to the VA NAAC, which advises VA leadership on opportunities to enhance planning and coordination between the VA and our nation’s health professions schools and universities. Dr. Adams has a distinguished 30-year career in the United States Navy achieving the rank of rear admiral (lower half) serving as a senior healthcare executive.

Teaching Hospitals: Apply by March 29 for Closed Residency Slot Redistribution Program

 

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is accepting applications for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) closed hospital slot redistribution program. The ACA requires CMS to redistribute the Medicare GME residency positions from teaching hospitals that closed on or after March 23, 2008, according to certain criteria, which is particularly weighted towards hospitals in the same geographic area. The application process for rounds 18 and 19 involve hospitals that closed in Yakima, WA and Melrose Park, IL as noted in the table below. Teaching hospitals must submit applications to CMS by March 29. in the CMS announcement beginning on page 394.

Health Equity Task Force Holds Inaugural Meeting on February 26

 

The COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force, established by , will hold its on Friday, February 26, which is open to the public. The Task Force, comprised of 13 diversity and inclusion leaders, will make recommendations to President Biden to mitigate the health disparities caused and exacerbated by the pandemic. Health equity is a cornerstone of the Administration’s response to COVID-19 and the future of healthcare. AACOM will engage the Administration on and other matters of health equity.

Administration Pulls Buprenorphine Prescribing Guidelines

 

The Biden Administration issued on January 14 by the former Administration. The guidelines would have relaxed requirements for prescribing the drug in the treatment of opioid addiction and exempted physicians from taking a course to qualify for a waiver from the Drug Enforcement Administration. AACOM will continue to work with the OME community to engage the Administration on ways to tackle the .

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Advocacy

Urge Congress to Address Healthcare Shortages during COVID-19 Pandemic

 

We are calling on you as members of the OME community to to enact long-term funding for the highly successful THCGME Program, which has a proven track record of improving primary care access in rural and underserved areas. Physician shortages, especially in rural and medically underserved communities, put a strain on patient health and health professionals every day. Our system is facing unprecedented pressure, putting the lives of physicians and patients at risk. At a time when our country faces extraordinary healthcare needs and challenges as we respond to COVID-19, your support is critical.

 

Reminder: Apply for AACOM’s Osteopathic Health Policy Fellowship

 

AACOM’s Osteopathic Health Policy Fellowship is a prestigious, year-long leadership training program for osteopathic physicians and other associated health professionals to develop the skills they need to analyze, formulate and implement health policy on the local, state and national levels. Apply by March 31 to join this .

Featured Federal Resources and COM Engagement

Join the National Forum on COVID-19 Vaccine: From February 22-24, the CDC will host a national virtual event focused on science and data to drive COVID-19 vaccination success. The forum will promote the most effective strategies to build trust and confidence in COVID-19 vaccines, use data to optimize vaccine implementation and provide participants with practical information for increasing vaccine access in communities nationwide. .

Visit AACOM's for federal grants of interest to osteopathic medical education.

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